Monday, October 05, 2020

Cert. Denied In Appeal By Kim Davis Who Refused To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

The U.S. Supreme Court today denied certiorari in Davis v. Ermold, the case involving former Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis who refused on religious grounds to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  Justice Thomas, joined by Justice Alito, concurred in the denial of review, but issued a four page statement critical of the Court's same-sex marriage precedent. (Order List, scroll to page 55.) In the case, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals held that Davis may be sued in her individual capacity and is not entitled to qualified immunity. (See prior posting). Justice Thomas wrote in part:

In Obergefell v. Hodges ... the Court read a right to same-sex marriage into the Fourteenth Amendment, even though that right is found nowhere in the text. Several Members of the Court noted that the Court’s decision would threaten the religious liberty of the many Americans who believe that marriage is a sacred institution between one man and one woman. If the States had been allowed to resolve this question through legislation, they could have included accommodations for those who hold these religious beliefs.... The Court, however, bypassed that democratic process. Worse still, though it briefly acknowledged that those with sincerely held religious objections to same-sex marriage are often “decent and honorable,” ... the Court went on to suggest that those beliefs espoused a bigoted worldview....

The Hill reports on the case.